While Rollins may at times seem to lack diversity, the fact is that many social and cultural minorities are often overlooked. Not all identities are immediately visible, and some students may feel “whitewashed” or otherwise invalidated by common assumptions made by their professors and peers.
With this reality in mind, the Center for Inclusion and Campus Involvement (CICI) has decided to institute a program to help recognize and encourage these differences: the Rollins Connect Membership Program.
According to Destinee Lott, Assistant Director of CICI, “Rollins Connect is a mentorship program to help students connect with faculty and staff who share identities with them.
“The mentor and mentees from there will meet initially and get to know one another, and are encouraged to continue to foster a relationship throughout the year. The goal is to allow students to see those who are similar to them in their roles at the College.”
Rollins Connect is still in its earliest stages. It is unclear when and how often these meetings will occur, nuances such as these will probably be decided by the faculty and students on a case-by-case basis after the original “connection.”
Although the newness of the program makes it hard to estimate future success, CICI deserves applause for its inclusion of minority groups not often represented in other organizations on campus. While organizations like Spectrum and MECCA are in place to represent the LGBTQ+ and Middle Eastern students respectively, other groups including first-generation college students, plus size students, and adopted students are only now finding a collective voice on campus thanks to Rollins Connect.
Any student interested in joining Rollins Connect should take the Qualtrics survey found in their emails. It should take less than five minutes to complete, and the rewards this program is poised to offer in the coming semester are too good to pass up.
If you or somebody you know is part of a minority group you feel is underrepresented on campus, or you wish to find a faculty or staff member that shares your identity and your unique perspective on campus, you should definitely take advantage of this wonderful new initiative by CICI. Chances are high that you are not the only person on campus searching for a connection.